Thursday, July 5, 2012

So you're on cloud... Google Drive Vs. Dropbox

We all love our files, whether they are photos, videos, or document files etc. But if the file sizes are just too big to store in our memory hard drives, what do you do? Thank God that we can use the internet as a medium to store those! Cloud storage is a model of networked online storage where we can virtually store data hosted by third parties. There are many physical servers that offers storage pools that we can use for us to store our files. A popular cloud storage party is the Dropbox, and just recently, Google really did it again by releasing its own cloud storage entity which is the Google Drive. So in this article, we will compare Dropbox and Google Drive, which one is better, and why you should transfer to only one winner!

Comparison Between the Two To have a good overall comparison between the two, let us compare them in terms of Capacity, Graphical User Interface, User-friendliness, Performance, Folder Sync/Backup, Media Streaming, Times of Availability, and finally Price. 

1. Capacity Google Drive Capacity is of course our primary concern so let’s tackle it first.Google Drive offers 5GB of space for free, and you can upgrade that at a cost. You can have 25GB, 100GB, and 200GB all at a cost which we will discuss later. Dropbox On the other hand, Dropbox offers 2GB of free storage. You can upgrade to 50GB or 100GB only. Google Drive offers more capacity and a bit more choices so Dropbox loses in this aspect.

2. Graphical User Interface Google Drive Google Drive pretty much shows us a quick look-esque experience inside that makes file navigation easy. Dropbox Dropbox offers a nice GUI too, and the design of the interface is really a no brainier which makes this easy to use too. In terms of GUI, this may be a tie for both.

3. User Friendliness Google Drive If you have multiple file types that you want to store, that won’t be much of a problem as Drive can read 30 types of files to make storing much available. It shows to users a sort of a web gallery to easily make files and their types view-able. Dragging and dropping is doable here so manipulating files is a piece of cake. Opening Photoshop files is also possible as a bonus. Dropbox Drag and drop is also available in Dropbox so it is also quite easy to use. The strength of Dropbox is its developer friendliness feature as the public API is built on it. Tons of settings are also available here for you to tweak for your preferences. Both are user friendly but Google Drive may offer more view-able file types so this may give it a slight edge over Dropbox. 

4. Performance Google Drive Google Drive stores and loads files fast. In terms of loading, Drive can load a 13KB of file using over 500ms of time. Drive can also be used for those using Google+, GMail, Android, and soon iOS. Drive also has the capabilities to execute OCR scanning, which allows scanning texts in the images themselves for naming them etc. Dropbox Dropbox is a bit faster in terms of loading, using a little less than 500ms to load the same 13KB of file. Dropbox can be used in other apps just like Drive but does not offer many other options. Both performs good at an almost the same speed for unloading files. So this may be a tie.Google Drive’s link with Gmail gives it a tiny edge none the less but Dropbox currently has an iOS tie up but the Drive will soon have it too.

5. Folder Sync/Backup Google Drive Syncing your folders within your desktop app to the online Google Drive storage is really a breeze as you can just drag and drop. Syncing or backing up folders separately is also possible. Dropbox In syncing, Dropbox is at par with Drive but syncing and backing up files within are not that efficient. Dropbox forces to store everything you need to sync or backup in one folder only. Google Drive may win this one too as syncing and backup activities are more efficient. 

6. Media Streaming Google Drive Google Drive does not providing any facility towards streming of media files. Dropbox The major advantage of Dropbox is perhaps its ability to stream and play all sorts of media files. So Dropbox wins this one. 

7. Times of Availability Google Drive Using an average of a 30 day span,Google Drive will only have a down time of only 1 minute which is pretty impressive as it is almost 100% up. Dropbox On the flip-side, Dropbox will have a down time of 13 minutes over the same 30 day period which equates to about 99.97% up time. Clearly,Google Drive leads this battle as it is almost a hundred percent up for us to use.

8. Price Google Drive Now, let us talk about price. Drive offers a wider variety of options for memory capacity starting at $2.49 per month for 25GB of storage, $4.99 for 100GB, and finally $9.99 for a massive 200GB of online storage space. Dropbox Dropbox on the other hand offers 2 options beyond its free offering. A $9.99 per month account is available which offers 50GB; and an expensive $19.99 per month for 100GB. The Drive also wins this round by a landslide as it is much cheaper and offers more options and storage capacity against the Dropbox. 

The Verdict The only advantage that the Dropbox may offer is its media streaming capability. Price and capacity wise, the Google Drive leaves the Dropbox in the dust, so it will be wise to switch over to Google Drive if you have an existing paid account in Dropbox. But if you simply need extra storage space, you may use the free 2GB of storage of Dropbox if your Google Drive storage spaces are already full. Use whatever is free and be wise! 

Author bio: Alexis Thompson is an alumna from Martin College Australia, a former Mountain Backpacker and a 26 year old mother of 2 daughters, Sophie and Rhian. She is into almost all types of Music especially The Fray and Hillsong. She also has a passion in Singing and Scrap Booking. Follow her escapades on her Twitter.

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